The Fundamental Concept Of Grace: Devotion By Angel Omari
The definition of fundamental according to Merriam Webster is forming or relating to the most important part of something or relating to the basic structure of something.
A concept is an idea of what something is or how it works.
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)Ephesians 2:5 (KJV)
According to Ephesians 2:5, grace is interpreted as follows; of merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection and kindles them to exercise of the Christian virtue.
Therefore, the fundamental concept of grace is the core idea of what grace is. The underlying intention of grace.
Grace is not an afterthought but was factored into God’s plan and made available to us. When the eternal covenant was instituted, God factored grace as an aspect of that covenant.
Grace is not made to be hoarded but given.
The innate nature of grace is to give. We do not amass grace or store it for the future. Grace is like manna as it were, for that specific situation and time.
We live in a world where we are measured by what we have stacked up for ourselves and not by what we give. Our possessions become who we are. For example those who possess money are called rich, those who have a large following are called popular.
However, in the Kingdom the more you give the more you have. The nature of the living water of God is to flow not to be stored.
There is a unique grace for all of us to tap into. God does not need grace, we do. It is not meant to stay with God but meant to be given to us everyday. It comes from the overflow of who He is.
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].Hebrews 4:16 (AMPC)
This means that grace is based on relationship where we are to be in interaction with who God says we are and be conscious of it.
Grace comes from how conscious we are of God in our lives. If we do not see grace in our lives then it cannot be activated.
Grace will show up differently in different people. There is no template for the expression of grace.
Being conscious of what we have will cause us to cease from praying for things God has already made available to us.
We need to make an effort to be conscious of God in our everyday lives. Where has God been that we have not seen Him? What grace has He availed to us that we were not aware we have? Moving forward, what adjustments and decisions will we make to increase our alertness to God’s presence?
Grace ministers to the deepest fears we have yet the strongest place we have in the spirit.
Circumstances come to show us where we are weak not so that we pity ourselves but to bring to the fore aspects of our lives not surrendered to God.
The folly of man is imagining that what I am good at and our strength will sustain us.Pain and hardship brings us to the end of ourselves and sometimes instead of taking that as an opportunity to heavily rely on what God has said because our strength has failed, we see it as a place of disgrace and shame and we run away from God.
Instead, we need to understand that the places where we seem weak are places where God seeks to show his kindness by lending strength to us. We become strong because we are aware of our weakness no longer relying on our own effort to fix it and we allow God to give us his nature.
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMPC)
We get to see the fullness of the nature of God in our lives the more we are submitted to Him. This comes about when we are more vulnerable and weak in His presence.
This also reveals the aspect of grace as redemptive. It restores honour and belonging in God where there was shame.
We need to go back to God in the failed and mucky places in our lives and remind ourselves that we are not our failures. What failures have we chosen to hide from God? Where are we refusing to access grace by hiding our mistakes?
Since grace is based on covenant, there is mutual agreement and God cannot force us to accept His grace. If we insist we are okay, then God will leave us as we are.
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.John 9:40-41 (NKJV)
In John 9:40-41, the blindness of the Pharisees remained not because Christ was not in their midst or that He was unable to heal them but because they refused to acknowledge that they were blind in the first place.
Maybe for some of us, our redemption will come when we are able to freely tell God where we are and disrobe of feigned courage so as to receive true courage from Him to handle what is ahead.
Grace is given to us for the glory of God.
Grace does not involve comparing ourselves to other people or who we think we should be. Grace finds us where we are in the here and now.
Grace is designed to bring glory to God not to make you “better” or “a good person”. It is not there for us to have people around us applaud us for our good deeds. If it was about self-exaltation then grace would be something that we work for and we are then rewarded for the work we have put in.
Grace is there to make us more like Christ bringing glory to God.
The grace of God causes God to shine more brightly in our lives as we continue to dim and are formed more into the image of Christ
Grace carries the nature of God, is spiritual and is seen with the eyes of faith. Grace and faith go hand in hand. We access grace through faith.
Grace cannot operate in an environment of fear because fear is the domain of enemy and what is of the enemy is in opposition to God. Fear seeks to cause separation from God but faith gives us access to grace.
When grace is at work in us, we are at rest because fear motivates works.
So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].Hebrews 3:19 (AMPC)
Grace causes a change of perspective and character.
For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.Titus 2:11-12 (AMPC)
Since graces teaches us to say no to ungodliness it means that our perception of ungodliness is changed from desire to rejection. This then creates an environment for holiness and in turn which affects our outward environment
The first environment that changes is our mental environment. Where we do not believe in what circumstance says rather we choose to believe God.
Circumstances are not ambiguous but are very close to us. Feelings of being weighed down by life can cause us to envy others who seem to have more strength than us. Here is where we are to deny the impulse to blame God and to remember the strength that God has already provided for us and to believe what God has said about us.
The word of God is stirred up in the environment of hope. Hope is not empty words but are promises full of the power and divine nature of God.
We need to be careful of thoughts that provoke hopelessness or disqualify who God is because they are seeds of doubt from the enemy that can destroy the word of God in us.
For us to be certain that grace is at work in our lives, we need to evaluate our mental environment. Negative thoughts are a sign that we need to appropriate grace in our minds.
Have we perceived the environment that causes grace to thrive in our minds and lives?
We learn grace when we are in relationship with the Holy Spirit.
We cannot be partakers of the Divine (including grace) unless we are invited to. We access the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. We already have been invited into God’s presence by virtue of having the Holy Spirit in us.
For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.Romans 8:15-17 (AMPC)
Sonship causes us to understand that we are invited to be with the father. We do not need special permission but it is a right we have. This gives us the boldness to approach him and we are unapologetic of who we are.
The confidence to enter into God’s presence is from the understanding that we are intimately known by God. Knowing does not denote the aspect of having facts and information about a person but from the closeness of fellowship with a person. A place of mutual sharing and covering.
As a prophetic people, we are entrusted with the secrets of God. Secrets are told to those who are intimate with God the same way that we tell secrets to those we are intimate with.
God intimately knows us because we had fellowship with Him in eternity.
The grace of God operating in our lives makes us differentiate what panic is and what faith is.
We are also shown what apathy is and what being asleep in the storm is.
Fear demands that we “do” something in a certain situation while faith asks, “what does God require in this situation?”
Grace is constant. It is does not waver with seasons. This is because it carries the nature of God and God does not change.